Is sodium benzoate bad for you?

Answered on December 02, 2013
Created November 30, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Anyone have links to studies about this common food preservative? Is it bad for us?

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3 Answers


on December 02, 2013
at 01:03 PM

Sodium benzoate is a commonly found preservative. You will find it in everything from fruit juice and soft drinks to jams and jellies. Sodium benzoate is produced by a reaction of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide, which makes it dissolve in water. Benzene's negative health effects are seen when it is combined with Vitamin C.



on December 01, 2013
at 05:38 PM

A quick google search returns "when mixed with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) sodium benzoate transforms into benzene, a known carcinogen and DNA damager."


on November 30, 2013
at 08:27 PM

It's simply a preservative made by mixing two naturally occurring chemicals together; salt and benzoic acid. Whether it's better or worse for you than any other food preservative out there is arguable. However you can find research to say that it's bad for you, just as you can find research that says the dangers are inconsequential. If you want to be a "natural diet" strict, avoid it because it's an artificially processed preservative.

Benzoic acid (the benzoate part of sodium benzoate) is actually a naturally occurring chemical found in things like plums, apples, cranberries, etc...

I'm not a doctor, though, nor have I ever stayed at a Holiday Inn, so take the above information with the appropriate grains of sodium salt!

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